Abaca can give coconut farmers P140K in additional income: Piñol
Coconut farmers can earn an additional P140,000 per hectare annually by planting abaca as a second crop to their coconuts, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said in a post on his Facebook page.
Piñol planted 12 abaca suckers in his Kidapawan farm two months ago to determine which variety would give farmers better returns.
The abaca came from the Philippine Fiber Development Authority and consisted of three varieties—Maguindanao, Tangonan from Davao, and the Kutaykutay from Sulu. Of the three, Piñol was impressed by the variety from Sulu as it produced four to seven shooters in only two months. The variety from Maguindanao only had one shooter while the variety from Davao has yet to grow one.
“I have been promoting the planting of Abaca because of the great demand in the market today,” Piñol said.
Abaca is used in making security papers, paper money, ropes, insulators, and handicraft items among others.
Piñol explained that the planting of abaca in his own farm was a field trial meant to help farmers in his province to skip the expensive and time consuming process.
“I am doing this to emphasise the importance of conducting field trials to guide farmers on what variety to plant,” Piñol said. “The performance and productivity of plants depend on the type of soil and climatic conditions of a specific area. With the simple act of planting three varieties of Abaca in the Kidapawan area, I would be able to guide farmers who would like to get into Abaca farming.”